The ArgusPublic wi-fi network plan for Brighton and Hove (From The Argus)

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Public wi-fi network plan for Brighton and Hove

Shoppers, businesses and tourists could soon be logging online in the street as part of plans to create a public wi-fi network.

Brighton and Hove City Council wants to rent its lampposts, benches and buildings to a private firm to set up a “metro wireless” broadband network.

As well as boosting the city’s growing digital industry, town hall bosses believe it would make it more attractive to visitors and get more residents online.

It is also a cornerstone of Brighton and Hove’s bid to the Government for £3.3 million to set up ultrafast broadband in the city centre.

Council leader Jason Kitcat said: “What the wireless network will bring to the city is far wider coverage for those working, living and visiting the city.

“It will have a huge impact not only for the growing digital industry but also those that do business digitally.”

Thousands of people currently access the internet on the move on their smartphones and other devices by 3G and 4G, which connects via phone masts.

However, Coun Kitcat said many mobile phone companies preferred to set up wi-fi networks in urban areas as it is cheaper and avoids having to get planning permission for masts.

He added that it also meant users could have quicker and easier access while allowing them to download larger files.

Coun Kitcat said he hoped there would be some form of free access for all but added this would have to be discussed with the successful bidders.

A deal could be in place in March with the seafront, major tourist destinations and main retail areas likely to be the first to be connected.

Phil Jones, of Wired Sussex, said: “From a digital business point of view, a better wi-fi service in the city is a necessity, and that’s why it was included in the recent ultrafast broadband bid.

“These days business doesn’t stop when you leave the office, and a number of reports have pointed out how prevalent flexible work models are in Brighton’s digital sector and how significant the skilled freelance community here is to the health of our economy.”

The deal, which will be discussed by the council’s policy and resources committee on Thursday, would see the council enter into an agreement with a private firm which would install the equipment and run the network.

In return the local authority would receive income from renting out its property and a percentage of the profits.

Coun Kitcat said it was more risky for the local authority to try to set up its own network.

Up to £15,000 will be spent on hiring consultants to help with the scheme.

He added: “We may not be first to do this but sometimes it is advantageous to watch what others do.”

Labour councillor Gill Mitchell said: “This is exactly the sort of thing that the council should be doing by using its assets to lever in additional investment and boost the local economy.”

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Comments (9)

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9:21am Mon 26 Nov 12

Ballroom Blitz says...

This is a good idea as long as its self financing. It's the last thing the council should be spending taxpayers money on in these troubled times.
Most people have 3G access on their mobile phones, and there's no reason why businesses shouldn't pay for a wired connection. It's not expensive.
So to have a public wi if network would be nice, but its hardly necessary in the great scheme of things.
This is a good idea as long as its self financing. It's the last thing the council should be spending taxpayers money on in these troubled times. Most people have 3G access on their mobile phones, and there's no reason why businesses shouldn't pay for a wired connection. It's not expensive. So to have a public wi if network would be nice, but its hardly necessary in the great scheme of things. Ballroom Blitz
  • Score: 0

9:32am Mon 26 Nov 12

Crystal Ball says...

How many times will they have to turn it off and on again?
How many times will they have to turn it off and on again? Crystal Ball
  • Score: 0

10:33am Mon 26 Nov 12

sue suki says...

Nothing wrong with having wifi in town as long as the locals dont have to pay. what about peoples security and privacy with this type of connection???
Nothing wrong with having wifi in town as long as the locals dont have to pay. what about peoples security and privacy with this type of connection??? sue suki
  • Score: 0

10:53am Mon 26 Nov 12

nosolution says...

£15000 for consultancy fees?This is not needed surely,it cannot be beyond the wit of the policies and resources committee to work it out for themselves.Barely a decision is made in council dept.these days without the needless expense of consultants...
£15000 for consultancy fees?This is not needed surely,it cannot be beyond the wit of the policies and resources committee to work it out for themselves.Barely a decision is made in council dept.these days without the needless expense of consultants... nosolution
  • Score: 0

2:52pm Mon 26 Nov 12

GovindaTim says...

sue suki wrote:
Nothing wrong with having wifi in town as long as the locals dont have to pay. what about peoples security and privacy with this type of connection???
Security and privacy remain the responsibility of the user, the same as if they are using their own personal connection or public access network such as Starbucks etc.
[quote][p][bold]sue suki[/bold] wrote: Nothing wrong with having wifi in town as long as the locals dont have to pay. what about peoples security and privacy with this type of connection???[/p][/quote]Security and privacy remain the responsibility of the user, the same as if they are using their own personal connection or public access network such as Starbucks etc. GovindaTim
  • Score: 0

3:46pm Mon 26 Nov 12

bluemonday says...

fantastic,just what we need,every idiot watching there phones whilst crossing the road,walking down the street,as if it was'nt bad enough already
fantastic,just what we need,every idiot watching there phones whilst crossing the road,walking down the street,as if it was'nt bad enough already bluemonday
  • Score: 0

6:45pm Mon 26 Nov 12

jay316 says...

I am all for a public free wifi service, even though there is one in part in Brighton already.

Can you really see the council not paying for it.. they seem hell bent on bankrupting the town!
I am all for a public free wifi service, even though there is one in part in Brighton already. Can you really see the council not paying for it.. they seem hell bent on bankrupting the town! jay316
  • Score: 0

8:22pm Mon 26 Nov 12

qm says...

GovindaTim wrote:
sue suki wrote:
Nothing wrong with having wifi in town as long as the locals dont have to pay. what about peoples security and privacy with this type of connection???
Security and privacy remain the responsibility of the user, the same as if they are using their own personal connection or public access network such as Starbucks etc.
Methinks there are some fundamentals that you clearly don't fully understand Tim!
I am sure the world would love to know just how you protect your privacy and security on public wifi which is totally different to your home network where do do have control.
The only thing you have control over on public wifi is what you do: regarding logins & passwords (which can be trawled) and what data you retain on your device (which can be trawled)! As soon as you log on, you are walking down the street naked and if you happen to be in Starbucks you also have no taste!
[quote][p][bold]GovindaTim[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sue suki[/bold] wrote: Nothing wrong with having wifi in town as long as the locals dont have to pay. what about peoples security and privacy with this type of connection???[/p][/quote]Security and privacy remain the responsibility of the user, the same as if they are using their own personal connection or public access network such as Starbucks etc.[/p][/quote]Methinks there are some fundamentals that you clearly don't fully understand Tim! I am sure the world would love to know just how you protect your privacy and security on public wifi which is totally different to your home network where do do have control. The only thing you have control over on public wifi is what you do: regarding logins & passwords (which can be trawled) and what data you retain on your device (which can be trawled)! As soon as you log on, you are walking down the street naked and if you happen to be in Starbucks you also have no taste! qm
  • Score: 0

12:15am Fri 21 Dec 12

Resident in Hanover says...

nosolution wrote:
£15000 for consultancy fees?This is not needed surely,it cannot be beyond the wit of the policies and resources committee to work it out for themselves.Barely a decision is made in council dept.these days without the needless expense of consultants...
You're telling me!

What a right lot of wasted money, again by the green administration

I'd love to know how much the 'communal bin' consultations in Hanover are costing the taxpayer, who, in advance, have for good reason rejected the initiative and want a better solution
[quote][p][bold]nosolution[/bold] wrote: £15000 for consultancy fees?This is not needed surely,it cannot be beyond the wit of the policies and resources committee to work it out for themselves.Barely a decision is made in council dept.these days without the needless expense of consultants...[/p][/quote]You're telling me! What a right lot of wasted money, again by the green administration I'd love to know how much the 'communal bin' consultations in Hanover are costing the taxpayer, who, in advance, have for good reason rejected the initiative and want a better solution Resident in Hanover
  • Score: 0

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